There will come a time in your life when you feel that things won’t go down the way you expect them to be. That kind of thing happens in the world of writing too. You hesitate just when you about to hit the Send button on the email app or the Submit button on a reply form. You just feel that it’s going to go downhill the moment you do it.
The Wrong Time to Write
Identifying the wrong time to write is critical especially in business. When things go wrong, it may not end with a little warning. You could lose your clients or your job.
Generally, you should be extra cautious about accidentally being rude when you’re upset and when you think you’ll upset others. Let’s elaborate on these two, shall we?
Feeling a bit stressed out in the office and thinking about writing in ALL CAPS to make a point? Don’t!
Take a deep breath and walk away from the keyboard. It’s too easy to write the wrong things when you’re mad. However, venting your anger is going to be counter-productive for both you and the one(s) you’re writing to.
Go for a walk to calm yourself or just do anything that gets you back on track. Remember, the other party may not even realize that they’ve made you mad. It’s possible they just having a bad day and it accidentally showed.
Be sure to be courteous as you write and use positive tones. That way you won’t come out as asking for a fight.
You should also check your writing for possible misspellings. Any typo you make can and will be used against you. Not in court of law, but quite possibly in your supervisor’s office.
You think you’ll upset others
Yep, this one ties heavily with the first. Even when you’re not angry at all, it’s still possible to come across as rude and condescending. People can’t see your facial expression through writing nor hear the tone of your voice.
When you’re responsible for replying to angry customers, for example, it’s best to avoid any wording that “blames” the customer. Acknowledge their frustration and let them know you understand how they feel. Assure them you will find the best solution there is.
If you don’t have enough information to handle the customer’s issue, be upfront about it. It’s better than wild-guessing what to do about the matter.
One thing to keep in mind is you can’t please everyone. You can do your best not to offend too many people, but some people are born to be offended. Don’t sweat it too much.